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Food Chem Toxicol. 1990 Oct;28(10):687-92.

Modulation of resistance to mastitis pathogens by pretreatment of mice with T-2 toxin.

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Department of Zoophysiology, University of Uppsala, Sweden.


T-2 toxin, a secondary metabolite of Fusarium species, is a mycotoxin with immunomodulatory activity. In the present investigation the effects of T-2 toxin on host resistance was studied. The virulence of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in the mammary glands of mice treated with T-2 toxin was compared with their virulence in control mice. Virulence was estimated from the ability to induce various types of lesions and bacterial growth in the mammary gland. Pretreatment of mice with a single dose (3 mg/kg body weight) of T-2 toxin by gavage reduced the virulence of both E. coli (P less than 0.05) and S. aureus (P less than 0.01). Microscopic lesions in the infected glands varied in character, from consistently non-reactive necrosis of the entire mammary gland to limited inflammatory reactions. The former were more abundant in control mice than in mice treated with T-2 toxin. Although treatment by gavage with T-2 toxin (0.75 mg/kg body weight/day) for 14 days prior to inoculation had no significant effect on the course of the mastitis infection, virulence was slightly lower in the T-2 toxin treated mice. Both single-dose and successive treatment with T-2 toxin enhanced the respiratory burst activity of macrophages. Pre-inoculation treatment with T-2 toxin also caused a significant increase in the number of peritoneal cells, T-2 toxin did not show bacterial effects on the E. coli or S. aureus strains used for the inoculations. The data indicate that T-2 toxin has modulatory effects on the cell-mediated immune system, and that enhancement of resistance to common mastitis pathogens in mice pretreated with a single dose of T-2 toxin is associated with migration and activation of macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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